This coming planting season, growers in four Midwestern states will participate in Monsanto’s Ground Breakers testing program for FieldScripts, the company’s first product from the Integrated Farming Systems (IFS) platform. FieldScripts is designed to provide farmers with a valuable new approach to boost on-farm productivity while also supporting more sustainable agriculture systems for our growing world.
Monsanto’s IFS Commercial Lead John Raines anticipates that the product will provide significant value for U.S. farmers.
“We have been testing FieldScripts over the past two years, and we’ve seen consistent yield increases when farmers use the product,” said Raines. “For our 2013 Ground Breakers trials, we’re more than doubling the farmers testing the product. We are looking forward to finalizing our product offering for farmers to provide accurate, effective and easy-to-use planting prescriptions and hybrid recommendations that help to increase yield potential and mitigate risk on farm.”
Monsanto uses the Ground Breakers program to gain feedback from farmers on new product performance ahead of commercialization. Next year will be a product testing year for FieldScripts. In 2014, Monsanto anticipates FieldScripts will be launched in the DEKALB corn brand in Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, and Minnesota.
Farmer Kip Tom of Tom Farms in Leesburg, IN, has seen the value of FieldScripts firsthand. “Farmers have extensive data on their land, and FieldScripts will help them put this data to work to increase yield potential,” said Tom. “There is no system available today that offers what Monsanto has developed to improve farmers’ investment in crop production on their farms. After three years of partnering with Monsanto to test the concept and product, I have been very impressed with the increase in yield I’ve seen by using FieldScripts.”
Raines said FieldScripts will be offered through Monsanto’s existing dealer network. “Today, farmers consult with their seed dealers about the best DEKALB hybrid for their farm. That process will continue, but the conversation will be much more individualized by field to meet that farmer’s needs,” said Raines.
The farmer will provide inputs like field boundaries, yield data, and fertility test results to their seed dealer. The dealer will work with the farmer to select each field to enroll in FieldScripts. Using Monsanto’s extensive seed-by-environment data, the company will deliver a variable rate seeding prescription by yield management zone and a recommendation for the best hybrid for each field. The prescription will be provided through Precision Planting’s FieldView app for the iPad handheld device to the farmer’s tractor. The prescription will then be executed using Precision Planting’s 20/20 SeedSense monitor and planter control system.
FieldScripts will be the first commercial product from Monsanto’s IFS platform, announced as a part of the company’s pipeline update in January 2012. IFS brings together Monsanto’s unique understanding of how plant genetics perform in different environments and combines that know-how with precision equipment and advanced data analysis to help farmers maximize yield potential on the farm.
IFS Strategy Lead Ted Crosbie believes this work will support an increasingly more sustainable agriculture system, as it allows more precise production using the finite resources available on farms.
“IFS is really about matching the right corn hybrid to the yield environments in the field and then determining the optimal agronomic practices to bring out the very best performance in that hybrid for farmers,” Crosbie said. “IFS represents a new way of thinking about agriculture and the resources behind it.”
At the core of the IFS platform is the exclusive data analysis that Monsanto has developed to examine various factors – soil, environmental parameters, and others – to create management zone recommendations that are uniquely tailored to germplasm performance. This analysis, along with Monsanto’s extensive hybrid testing process, make Monsanto’s IFS platform unique in the industry.